Enhancing access to renewable energy: A dividend for a just transition to low-carbon economies
Progress in low-carbon development has been slow due to significant knowledge gaps. Wide deployment of renewable energy technologies is underway, but sustainability challenges remain at the community level and it is unclear whether energy access has translated into wider societal benefits. Empirical evidence is lacking in terms of the impacts of these off-grid energy solutions on gender equality, youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, and employment creation. Future developments for an off-grid energy approach need to be informed as to how to effectively localize these technologies to accelerate their adoption at the community level while enhancing social and economic co-benefits.
This project will address these knowledge gaps by developing a practical framework that can inform future developments and the implementation of just transition pathways. It will assess the effectiveness of different renewable energy technologies in accelerating green jobs creation and a low-carbon trajectory in Uganda and South Africa; analyze the equity and distribution implications of energy transition in vulnerable communities across gender, age, and income groups; develop potential financial and business models to deliver a just transition pathway; and explore appropriate policy and regulatory interventions. The project will generate recommendations for future research and targeted policy interventions.